Besides offering many different activities within the city, there are also many interesting daytrips outside of Barcelona.
Choose between sea or montains, cultural activities or just fun, discover history or nature, white sand beaches or woods, the options for enjoying yourself are huge!
Here we suggest some excursions you can choose from and remind you that you will find all the necessary information in any of the tourist information points around the city.
The Principality of Andorra is a small country wedged between France and Spain, in a valley in the middle of the Pyrenees. Catalan is the official language, but Spanish and French are spoken just as widely. The official currency is the euro.
Both Barcelona and Toulouse airports offer direct transfer buses to Andorra.
The average height above sea level here is 2000 meters, so it is not surprising that there is impressive skiing here. Ski stations such as Arinsal, Pal, Ordino-Arcalís, Pas de la Casa-Grau Roig and Soldeu-El Tarter offer first class slopes and hotels.
Apart from snow and ski Andorra offers incredible shopping; malls, shops and famous labels are found all over the capital Andorra la Vella. Baring in mind that this is a financial paradise, it makes enjoying a day of buying clothes, electronics, perfumes, drinks, food and tobacco all the more exciting. Shops open during weekends as well.
Furthermore Andorra offers many outdoor sports such as climbing, rafting, quad biking, bungee jumping and horse riding, and leisure activities such as thermal spars – what could be better after a days shopping?
The beautiful Costa Brava coast stretches for 160km north-east of Barcelona including important touristic destinations as Roses, Lloret de Mar, L’Estartit, Tossa de Mar and Blanes.
The coast is filled with high-rise buildings and resorts for tourists as well as green hillsides, wild cliffs and natural caves.
The area has a rich history of fishing villages with ancient castles and fortifications, untouched nature and crystalline waters. The gastronomic pleasures you will find in seafood are a treat. Traditional Catalan cuisine consisting of game, boar, duck and rabbit, washed down with wines produced in the vineyards of this sunny Mediterranean coast is offered in this area.
Some of the many things to see and do worth highlighting include: Salvaldor Dali’s former house, now converted into a museum in Port Lligat, the Dali theatre and museum in Figueres, Sant Pere de Rodes Monastery, Cabo de Creus and the Medes Islands, Perelada International Music Festival, Blanes firework contest, Corpus Christi in Tossa del Mar and Habaneras recitals in Calella de Palafrugell.
The natural park in which the volcanic area of La Garrotxa is located is in the province of Girona, in the Eastern Pyrenees. It offers the finest volcanic scenery in the whole of the Iberian peninsula. There are more than 40 volcanic peaks in a good state of preservation. The most recent eruption was a mere 11,000 years ago.
Amongst all the different volcanoes there are two which stand out: Croscat, this is the highest in the peninsula at 786m above seal level and 350m in diameter at its cone; the next is Santa Magarida, with a 2km perimeter around its cone and in the centre of its crater is the Romanesque church of Santa Margarida.
La Roca Village
Roca del Vallès is a small village only 45 minutes from Barcelona which has grown much in recent years and has become popular in summer time, and as a place for second homes.
One of the main attractions of La Roca is a shopping outlet organised like a small town. To visit from Barcelona there is a direct bus from Plaça Catalunya called the Shopping Express.
There are more than 100 shops on offer, all of designer labels, and with up to 60% discount. Not only clothing is on offer, there are interior design shops, bars, restaurants and terraces to recuperate your strength in order to enjoy one of the many leisure and cultural activities on offer. Children are also welcome in La Roca village, there are two special play areas outdoors.
Customers from outside of the EU can benefit from Tax Free shopping.
If you are coming to Barcelona and arriving at Girona airport using Ryanair or any other budget airlines, consider staying at least a half day in this charming Medieval town only 1hr away from Barcelona.
The city itself is amazing and walking its cobbled streets you will discover the old Jewish quarter, its museums, antique shops and old buildings made of stone; as well as excellent traditional bars and restaurants. The Santa Maria Cathedral has the widest gothic nave in the world, at almost 23 metres wide it incorporates 4 architectural styles.
Strolling along Rambla de La Libertat you will come across museums, antique shops and excellent bars and restaurants.
Montseny has been a Biosphere Reserve since 1978, within is a mosaic Mediterranean and central European landscapes. Its extraordinary biodiversity, and the footprint man has left over time have inspired artists, intellectuals and scientists.
Situated between the comarcas of Vallès Oriental and la Selva y Osona, it forms a part of the Catalan coastal mountain range. On the summit of its highest peak, Turó de l’home, there is a weather station.
From another of its most noteworthy peaks, Matagalls, there is a popular walk every September between here and Montserrat, along a path some 80km along joining the two mountains, which is undertaken in less than 24 hours.
Montserrat is a spectacular mountain and natural park, as well as the location of the stunning Monserrat Monastery, some 50km northeast of Barcelona. It is the most important mountain in Catalunya. A certain mystery surrounds its history, legend cites that in 880AD a group of shepherds discovered a likeness of a black virgin Mary. At first it was proposed to transfer the virgin to Manresa, but as it weighed too much they simply opted to build a chapel on the spot. The virgin, today known as ‘La Moreneta’, is the patron saint of Catalunya.
Today there is a sanctuary and a Benedictine monastery, dedicated to the virgin. Furthermore there is a wonderful library of over 300,000 volumes, amongst which the first texts written in Catalan can be found, dating from the 12th century. An art exhibition houses works by el Greco, Caravaggio, Berruguete, Miró, Picasso y Dalí.
For centuries it has been a religious and cultural centre and is a perfect place for a day trip out of the city to discover the beauty of the surrounding nature and its historic and artistic treasures. Due to its wild surroundings it is the ideal place for trekking and rock climbing as well.
You can also combine this visit to the Montserrat with a guided tour and wine tasting in different Bodegas, tickets are on sale in Plaça Catalunya and depart usually at 8.30 am to return in the city at 8:00 pm.
Penedès – Cavas
Penedès is considered the Cava capital of Catalunya, 90% of Spanish Cava is produced here. The terrain here is ideal for viniculture, grapes are grown on a plain protected by mountains, under the warm Mediterranean sun.
It is the major producer of this famous sparkling wine. In Sant Sadurni you can visit a winery, do a wine tasting course or visit the Museum of Wine in Vilafranca del Penedès. One of the best wineries to visit is Codorniu, the winery itself was designed by the famed art nouveau architect Puig I Cadafalch. The Freixenet winery is also worth visiting. Both are in Sant Sadurní, the birth place of Cava since 1872 when Josep Raventós produced the first bottles.
To get there you can take a train from Sants station or Plaça Catalunya to Sant Sadurni d’Anoia or Vilafranca del Penedès, the journey takes 50 minutes.
Tarragona is an ancient city founded by the Romans. Situated 100km South of Barcelona, Tarragona has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Tarragona was once a very rich town and capital of one of Spain’s largest provinces. Nowadays tourist attractions include the Museum of Archaeology and the Roman ruins of Tarraco (the Roman name for the city).
These important ancient remains are the 10 metres walls surrounding the city, the amphitheatre near the sea-shore, the magnificent aqueduct and the Roman sepulchre, commonly called the “Tower of the Scipios”.
The Museu Nacional Arqueològic de Tarragona has a beautiful collection of mosaics and fresco paintings, the most famous is probably the head of the mythological creature Medusa.
The upper part of the old medieval district has many well preserved palaces, and the Cathedral, which combines Romanesque and gothic styles. If you like seafood it is worth visiting the fisherman’s district, Serallo.
Sitges is an attractive coastal town city 35 km south of Barcelona, you can reach it in 40 minutes by train from Barcelona Sants station.
This village gave inspiration to a generation of Catalan artists at the end of the 19th century. Parties given in the Cau Ferrat house and studio of Santiago Rusiñol opened Catalunya to artistic trends of the day.
The Cau Ferrat Museum is open to the public, other points of interest include Maricel Palace and the church of San Bartolomé and Santa Tecla.
It’s the ideal place to enjoy either some adventure sports such as rock climbing or cycling, or else just to relax on its pleasant beaches.
In the nineties this small town became an important destination for the gay community, the night life is packed with trendy bars, restaurants and clubs with a very diverse crowd.
Since the 1960s skiing has become increasingly popular in Catalunya. Ski stations here are some of the most technologically advanced in the world, and are perfectly equipped for international competitions with slopes reaching up to 2700m above sea level.
In the Catalan Pyrenees 10 alpine ski stations are found:
- Baqueira-Beret: http://www.baqueira.es/
- Boí Taüll Resort: http://www.boitaullresort.com/
- Espot Esquí: http://www.espotesqui.cat/
- La Masella: http://www.masella.com/
- La Molina: http://www.lamolina.cat/
- Port del Comte: http://www.portdelcomte.net/
- Tavascan: http://www.tavascan.net/
- Vall de Núria: http://www.valldenuria.cat/website_valldenuria/cat/index.asp
- Vallter 2000: http://www.vallter2000.com/cat/index.php
And 5 nordic ski stations:
- Aransa: http://www.aransaesqui.cat/
- Lles: http://www.lles.net/
- Sant Joan de l’Erm: http://www.santjoandelerm.com/
- Tuixent-La Vansa: http://www.tuixent-lavansa.com/
- Guils Fontanera: http://www.guils.com/
Baqueira-Beret, without doubt, is the largest and best known of the Catalan ski stations. For its 72 slopes or for its excellent hotel offering, it attracts well known names from Catalan political and social circles, as well as from the rest of Spain.
There are a number of Spa Resorts and centres close to Barcelona. The first Spa Resorts appeared in Catalunya in the 19th century, the provinces of Vallès and Selva have the most, including Caldes de Montbui, Montbrió del Camp and Caldes de Malavella.
A Spa Resort offers the following:
Mineral waters declared to be of health benefit to the public
Installations fit for the correct application of thermal treatments
A team of medics and auxiliaries who diagnose the best use of these waters for each patient
For more information see the following:
Balneari Termes La Garriga http://www.hoteltermeslagarriga.com/
El Montanya Resort & Spa http://www.elmontanyahotel.com/
Balneari Vila de Caldes http://www.hotelviladecaldes.com/
Le Meridien Ra Beach http://www.lemeridienra.es/
Vall de Núria
The Pyrenean Vall de Nuria is at some 2000m above sea level and is surrounded by mountains such as Puigmal, 2910m above sea level. One can only get to Nuria by cremallera train, this leaves from Queralbs, or on foot. During the 20 minute train ascent you can enjoy spectacular scenery.
This is a highly popular destination, not only for the spectacular scenery, but also for an ancient religious sanctuary. At the start of the 20th century the current buildings was built over the remains of the original one.
There is a legend based on a cross, a bell and a pot, that whomsoever prays in front of the cross, with his head inside the pot whilst ringing the bell, will gains the gift of fertility. Obviously this doesn’t quite make sense, but it is a tradition and couples still visit Nuria to give thanks to the Virgin for their children after having performed the ritual.
The valley is of incomparable beauty and there is a lake situated in front of the sanctuary, where you can go boating. During winter there is a ski station with ten slopes and a toboggan slope for children.
For more info: http://www.valldenuria.com